Tatsiana Pytko, wife of imprisoned cameraman Viachaslau Lazarau, detained

08.06.2023 Source: Беларуская асацыяцыя журналістаў

The woman was arrested on June 6 and is currently in custody. Tatsiana and Viachaslau’s daughter, who is just over a year old, has been sent to a children’s hospital as there is no family or guardian nearby.

Human rights activists have reason to believe that the detention is related to a criminal case. However, it is not known whether she is being prosecuted in the same case as her husband.

Viachaslau Lazarau, a freelance cameraman, is charged under Article 361-4 of the Criminal Code (“Promoting Extremist Activities”) for association with a non-state media outlet declared extremist in Belarus. He has been detained for four months. Correspondence with him is obstructed. Therefore, it is not known at what stage of the investigation his case is. His mother visited him only once, shortly after his arrest.

Viachaslau Lazarau does not have a lawyer. This is a common situation in Belarus today: lawyers are afraid to take on “political” cases, lest they lose their jobs.

The investigation has confiscated Viachaslau Lazarau’s office equipment.

In 2018 and 2019, Viachaslau Lazarau was fined twice for “illegal production of media products.” During the events of August 2020, Lazarau was arrested for taking pictures of police wagons, but released without charges. Tasiana Pytko was also fined for taking part in an “unauthorized assembly”.

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